(Parental Guidance: Not for children under 16)
I was stuck in traffic on the main Labadi beach road the other day. On the side was parked a Hummer H3, that large, muscular off-road machine inspired by the US Army’s indestructible Humvee.
Humvees made their name in Operation Desert Storm (Gulf War One) when they roamed the Arabian dunes with more ease and deft than camels or Berbers. Actually, Humvee is an acronym for High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle. (I swear you didn’t know that!)
The civilian variation comes in H1, H2 and H3 versions — the last one being the top of the range. I suspect the H also stands for Humongous. These beasts, I gather, are very expensive – running into six-digits in dollars if they come with all the bells, whistles and castanets. That’s unattainably steep for someone like me who prefers an Opel Corsa. My mother is Kwahu.
Back from the off-road to the main Labadi beach road — the massive hood of this locally-registered H3 was open like a post-historic monster’s jaw, revealing its 12-cylinder, 5.4 L glistening innards. The beast had broken down! And rather incongruously, a local wayside mechanic had been called upon to diagnose and treat the ailment. His supporting cast of three grease-layered apprentices stood by the vehicle in a state of choo-boi, and the usual set of spanners and hammers at the ready.
Meanwhile, the master-mechanic’s head was inside the engine; his body hung over the edge; his long legs pointed straight up, pedalling in the air occasionally as though he was snorkelling.
The flamboyantly-clad owner, complete of course with an ear stud and a Drogba-perm, stood by looking bewildered but, I supposed, hopeful that this clueless gang could somehow transfer their training on 1960s Bedford cho-lorles (wooden mummy-trucks) to a post-millennial SUV propelled by silicon chips.
As the traffic eased and I inched away, I wondered why anyone in Ghana, a country with an annual per capita income of 550 dollars, felt the need to drive a Hummer. I mean, there’s no dealership or garage to maintain it. Besides, I wondered what would be the psychological make-up of a Hummer owner. Aren’t they embarrassed to drive these things in this environment? Do they have some deficit inside of them which needs desperately to be filled?
And that reminds me of a story: Monkey was cruising in his H3 one evening when he heard the cry of Elephant. The big one had stumbled and fallen into a deep pit. Monkey got a tow rope, tied it to his Hummer, threw it down to Elephant who wrapped it round his trunk and was helped happily out as Monkey accelerated.
Days later Elephant was strolling in the same vicinity when he heard the cry of Monkey. The wealthy one had driven into the self-same ditch.
“You don’t even have a car; how’re you going to help me out?” asked Monkey.
“Just tie one end of your tow-rope to your Hummer and throw me the other end,” instructed Elephant.
Elephant then tied the rope to his this thing, and worked up a hard-on. As his this thing hardened and rose, the Hummer was lifted along with its happy furry owner.
What’s the morale of the story?
….With a big this thing, you don’t need a Hummer.